Two Kenfac residents are on a mission to establish a Youth Music Festival provisionally planned for December this year.
The founders – Colonel James Jonas, a cluster detective co-ordinator, and Ikey Gamba, Ikey Gamba Dance Band owner – are both passionate about music and want to share their skills by uplifting youth in their community.
The duo will run auditions at St John’s RC Primary every Saturday between 12:00 and 17:00.
They invite youth from Kensington and Factreton areas to participate in the initiative. They hope to showcase 20 artists on the day. A variety of music genres will be represented and dance groups will also be welcome.
Currently, there is no funding for the project. Jonas says, instead of donating funds, residents and local business people are encouraged to consider sponsoring anything that can be used at the festival. This could be instruments, sound systems, stage equipment or even time.
Jonas and Gamba hope the event will help to keep the youth in their community off the streets and safe from social ills.
Born and bred in the area, they say it is sad to see so many of the youth being lost to gangsterism. They want to show them there are alternatives to gangsterism. They say everyone in the community must play a part to restore hope and to uplift the youth.
Even though the festival is a new initiative, it is important to hold auditions first, say Jonas and Gamba, because they do not want to see participants making “fools of themselves”.
Jonas says their long-term goal is to discover talent and to provide a platform to nurture it.
“Who knows, one day someone could spot the talent and end up sponsoring that child, helping him or her make a career of it,” adds Gamba.
Gamba started doing outreach work in the community as an unqualified music teacher seven months ago.
He has since identified the need for a bigger platform.
Gamba says they did not want to turn it into a competition but rather wanted to create an opportunity for the youth to show off their talents.
Since one of the festival’s objectives it to combat crime, the two say they have approached the police to come on board and to be part of driving the initiative.
Sergeant Angeline Grill, the spokesperson for the Kensington police station, confirmed having been approached and says they look forward to being part of the initiative.